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Volume 20 No. 42
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Rings leaders: IOC’s presidential candidates

Thomas Bach

Nation: Germany

Age: 59

IOC member since: 1991

Sports career: Gold medalist in fencing at the 1976 Montreal Games; president of the German Olympic Sports Confederation

Why he might win: The clear front-runner, Bach is from Europe, where many IOC members are based; he has served on the IOC executive board since 1996 and led negotiations for European TV rights; and he’s an Olympian, which holds a great deal of importance to IOC members.

Why he might lose: The European vote could be split among Bach, Sergey Bubka and Denis Oswald, allowing Richard Carrión to pull together enough votes from the Americas or Ser Miang Ng or Ching-Kuo Wu to pull enough votes from Asia to win.

Sergey Bubka

Nation: Ukraine

Age: 49

IOC member since: 2008

Sports career: Four-time Olympic pole vaulter who won gold at the 1988 Seoul Games; president of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine

Why he might win: Bubka has taken a firm, anti-doping stand at a time when doping has emerged once again as an issue in track and field. His position on that, combined with his international reputation as an Olympic champion and IOC members’ known preference for a president who has competed in an Olympics, could vault Bubka into first.

Why he might lose: Bubka is relatively inexperienced by IOC standards. He has not served on any of the business-related committees and has served only on the evaluation commission for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the coordination commission for the 2016 Rio Games.

Richard Carrión

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Commonwealth: Puerto Rico

Age: 60

IOC member since: 1990

Sports career: Executive committee member of the Olympic Committee of Puerto Rico; Central board of FIBA (international basketball federation)

Why he might win: Carrión is the only candidate from the Americas, and he’s earned a tremendous amount of respect within the IOC for his business acumen and success in negotiating the organization’s most important TV rights deal, an eight-year, $4.38 billion deal with NBC that extends through 2020. The CEO of Banco Popular was a member of the IOC executive board from 2004 to 2012.

v Why he might lose: Carrión never competed in an Olympics, and the IOC is looking to improve its ties to athletes following criticism at the London Games that it doesn’t do enough to support competitors financially.

Ser Miang Ng

Nation: Singapore

Age: 64

IOC member since: 1998

Sports career: Vice president of the Singapore Olympic Committee; chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Olympic Council of Asia

Why he might win: The diplomat and businessman has strong ties to Asian IOC members and is viewed as the region’s strongest contender. He helped organize the inaugural Youth Olympic Games and advocates putting youth at the forefront of the IOC’s efforts.

Why he might lose: The value of the Youth Olympic Games has been questioned by some IOC members, so supporting them could cost Ng some votes.

Denis Oswald

Nation: Switzerland

Age: 66

IOC member since: 1991

Sports career: Three-time Olympic rower who won bronze at the 1968 Mexico City Games; president of the International Rowing Federation (FISA); former president of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF)

Why he might win: As the longtime president of ASOIF, he is as recognizable and well-known as any candidate. He has advocated improving the IOC’s process for selecting sports to participate in the Olympic Games, which is an issue that many members have complaints about.

Why he might lose: Switzerland has five IOC members, which is something that bothers some members, and it will be difficult for him to pull enough European votes away from Bach to win.

Ching-Kuo Wu

Nation: Taiwan

Age: 66

IOC member since: 1988

Sports career: President of the international amateur boxing association (AIBA)

Why he might win: The boxing federation president has taken steps to improve boxing’s relevancy at the Olympics, pushing forward rules that would allow pro boxers to compete. Those rules come at a time that the IOC is looking for ways to rejuvenate its sports program and get youth more interested in the Olympics. Wu also has a reputation for battling corruption at the federation.

Why he might lose: There are questions among IOC members about how China, an increasingly important contributor to the IOC’s TV rights revenue, would view a president from Taiwan, which China sees as a breakaway province that should be governed by the mainland.

— Compiled by Tripp Mickle